…Sniffing out Beer for Punks
Launched in 2007 by James Watt and Martin Dickie, Scotland’s largest independent brewery, BrewDog, takes a somewhat unique stance in the UK brewing industry concentrating on carefully crafting what they label “Beer for Punks”. These eclectic concoctions use only the finest natural ingredients and no artificial preservatives, additives or pastuerisation. The beers are usually amazingly hoppy, often very strong (frequently around 10% ABV and, in the case of “Sink the Bismarck”, brewed in a friendly rivalry with a German brewer to claim the title of strongest beer in the world, a whopping 41% ABV) but all are taste sensations designed to put a rocket up the backside of the mainstream companies selling unimaginative, characterless, chemical rubbish.
The range consists mainly of Stouts and IPA’s but, lager drinkers need not fear, there’s also the wonderful “77 lager”. Believe me, if you drink one bottle of this you will never want to touch the likes of Carlsberg, Heineken, Fosters, Stella or Kronenberg ever again. It’s full-bodied yet refreshing and weighs in at a perfectly reasonable 4.9% ABV so is great for social occasions where you fancy a few beers with friends.
Of the India Pale Ales the core product is the tantalisingly tasty “Punk IPA” or, for the more seasoned veteran, one of my personal favourites, the turbo-charged “Hardcore IPA” which is insanely hoppy and 9.2% ABV.
The two stouts I feel are most worthy of your attention are “Paradox” and “Tokyo”. “Paradox” is available occasionally in quite limited quantities. It’s aged in old whisky casks and comes in three varieties: “Isle of Arran”, “Smokehead” and “Springbank”. At 10% ABV these Imperial Stouts should be slowly sipped and savoured like the fine malt spirits that underpin their robust flavours. And on to “Tokyo”, my absolute favourite of the BrewDog range. This is a monumental Imperial Stout, not wholly unlike “Paradox”, but with a higher ABV of 18.2%, aged on French toasted oak chips and with the addition of jasmine and cranberries to give the beer a slightly sweeter character that nicely counters the higher alcohol content.
You can check out the full range of BrewDog’s marvellous creations here: http://www.brewdog.com/beer.
Also note that BrewDog will often produce limited editions and, in the case of the offshoot “Abstrakt” line of one-off beers, these are sold in very limited quantities indeed, in numbered bottles.
Once you’ve got the taste for BrewDog (and I’m sure that you will) you will no doubt find your bank balance somewhat emptier than it was before (I know I did!) The good news is that BrewDog are once more offering shares in the company and, among other benefits, investors receive a discount off all future orders. Discounts range from 5-20% depending on how many shares you buy. I bought into the original “Equity for Punks” share offering back in 2009 and have more than made my money back in discounts off orders since then. But then I do drink a lot of beer! You can read more about the new “Equity for Punks” share offering here: http://www.brewdog.com/equityforpunks. Hey, What can be cooler than drinking a pint of your own beer crafted in your own brewery?